The securities lawyers of Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating customer complaints filed with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against broker Michael Stern (Stern). According to BrokerCheck records Stern has been subject to at least eight customer complaints. The customer complaints against Stern alleges securities law violations that including unsuitable investments, fraud, and breach of fiduciary duty among other claims.
In June 2015 a customer filed a complaint alleging $1,000,000 in damage stemming from negligence and breach of fiduciary duty. The complaint is pending.
Brokers have a responsibility treat investors fairly which includes obligations such as making only suitable investments for the client. In order to make a suitable recommendation the broker must meet certain requirements. First, there must be reasonable basis for the recommendation the product or security based upon the broker’s investigation and due diligence into the investment’s properties including its benefits, risks, tax consequences, and other relevant factors. Second, the broker then must match the investment as being appropriate for the customer’s specific investment needs and objectives such as the client’s retirement status, long or short term goals, age, disability, income needs, or any other relevant factor.
The number of events listed on Stern brokercheck is high relative to his peers. According to InvestmentNews, only about 12% of financial advisors have any type of disclosure event on their records. Brokers must publicly disclose certain types of reportable events on their CRD including but not limited to customer complaints. In addition to disclosing client disputes brokers must divulge IRS tax liens, judgments, and criminal matters.
Stern entered the securities industry in 1992. From February 2004 through August 2013, Stern was associated with Newbridge Securities Corporation. From August 2013 until January 2016, Stern was associated with brokerage firm Herbert J. Sims & Co. Inc. out of the firm’s Boca Raton, Florida office location.
The investment fraud attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP represent investors who have suffered securities losses due to the mishandling of their accounts. The majority of these claims may be brought in securities arbitration before FINRA. Our consultations are free of charge and the firm is only compensated if you recover.